What does it have to do with the 3-Day?
If you are a long time visitor you might remember my recaps of previous Breast Cancer 3-Day Walks in Seattle.
The cactus symbolizes the differences and the pink tents the similarities of the walk in different locations. Do you see those gray rainy clouds in the background of the camp shot? Did I save that picture over from last year in Seattle?
No, it's the weather in Phoenix the weekend of the 3-Day there.
As usual, the event started just as soon as daylight broke with the opening ceremony. These survivors were symbols of the event and led us onto the route carrying the banners that represent the hope and courage that is needed to fight cancer.
The walkers are always densely packed the morning of the first day, as in this case some 1200 walkers set out onto the route at the same time. Eventually, the group spreads out as each walker or group finds his/her/their own pace. On Saturday and Sunday, walkers have a wider window of time to start, so there is more of a spread.
Support along the way--what can I say? We were touched as we walked by this school in Gilbert, where the entire student body was out to cheer, wave bandanas, and signs. I was in the right place at the right time, because as we passed, I heard the gentleman walking just behind me explain. "That is my wife's school. She was diagnosed one year ago today. She couldn't walk because she is deep into her treatment. My sister-in-law sent the bandanas for all the students."
Are you weepy yet? I am.
Seattle and Phoenix compete for crazy costumed teams!
And no matter where you look, youa re likely to find someone doctoring their feet.
The flag goes up at camp each day as the last walker arrives from the route.
Those clouds provided a humorous moment when we passed one of the standard route signs. I think some of the desert rats were afraid they might disolve in the rain.
And our crazy crew--always ready for whatever support might be needed along the route. These were some of the "lunch ladies."
When we reached Scottsdale, we were again greeted by crew and supporters. As I approached the finish--having lost my distracted walking companions once again--a crew member took me by the arm and declared, "No one should walk through the finish alone."
Fun, but a good point in regard to cancer. No one should face that alone!
Some of the survivors again--preparing to walk into the circle of survivors at the moving closing ceremony with the banners where they were honored bya salute of shoes.
Yes, that is a pair of crutches in the salute. Broken legs do not always choose a convenient time to occur. The gentleman in question completed the walk in a wheelchair, pushed by his companion.